Marco Polo and the Encounter of East and West

Marco Polo and the Encounter of East and West

eBook - 2008
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Univ of Toronto Pr

Few figures from history evoke such vivid Orientalist associations as Marco Polo, the Venetian merchant, explorer, and writer whose accounts of the "Far East" sparked literary and cultural imaginations. The essays in Marco Polo and the Encounter of East and West challenge what many scholars perceived to be an opposition of "East" and "West" in Polo's writings. These writers argue that Marco Polo's experiences along the Silk Road should instead be considered a fertile interaction of cultural exchange.

The volume begins with detailed studies of Marco Polo's narrative in its many medieval forms (including French, Italian, and Latin versions). They place the text in its material and generic contexts, and situate Marco Polo's account within the conventions of travel literature and manuscript illumination. Other essays consider the appropriation of Marco Polo's narrative in adaptations, translation, and cinematic art. The concluding section presents historiographic and poetic accounts of the place of Marco Polo in the context of a global world literature.

By considering the production and reception of The Travels, this collection lays the groundwork for new histories of world literature written from the perspective of cultural, economic, and linguistic exchange, rather than conquest and conflict.


Few figures from history evoke such vivid Orientalist associations as Marco Polo, the Venetian merchant, explorer, and writer whose accounts of the "Far East" sparked literary and cultural imaginations. The essays inMarco Polo and the Encounter of East and West challenge what many scholars perceived to be an opposition of "East" and "West" in Polo's writings. These writers argue that Marco Polo's experiences along the Silk Road should instead be considered a fertile interaction of cultural exchange.

The volume begins with detailed studies of Marco Polo's narrative in its many medieval forms (including French, Italian, and Latin versions). They place the text in its material and generic contexts, and situate Marco Polo's account within the conventions of travel literature and manuscript illumination. Other essays consider the appropriation of Marco Polo's narrative in adaptations, translation, and cinematic art. The concluding section presents historiographic and poetic accounts of the place of Marco Polo in the context of a global world literature.

By considering the production and reception of The Travels, this collection lays the groundwork for new histories of world literature written from the perspective of cultural, economic, and linguistic exchange, rather than conquest and conflict.


These essays challenge what many scholars perceived to be an opposition of "East" and "West" in Polo's writings.


These essays challenge what many scholars perceived to be an opposition of "East" and "West" in Polo's writings.



Book News
Akbari (English and medieval studies, University of Toronto) and the late Ianucci, who was in the Italian department, also at Toronto, solicited many of the articles for this new look at the story of Marco Polo. Beginning with the first reception of the story of Marco's travels, the contributors examine the work in comparison to other medieval travel narratives, stressing how the narrative fits into the form best known to early readers, from the Pelerinage de Charlemagne to the Travels of John de Mandeville. The modern interpretation of Marco Polo is explored, especially in film. Finally the view of the accuracy of Marco's travel is taken up from the Eastern side, with articles form the Chinese point of view. The book closes with the suggestion that, instead of viewing East and West as polar opposites, they should be seen, as Marco Polo saw them, as complementary entities, with mutable boundaries. This is a fine blending of medieval European and Chinese history, along with modern viewpoints, a reflection of the subject. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

University of Toronto Press
Few figures from history evoke such vivid Orientalist associations as Marco Polo, the Venetian merchant, explorer, and writer whose accounts of the ‘Far East’ sparked literary and cultural imaginations. The essays in Marco Polo and the Encounter of East and West challenge what many scholars perceived to be an opposition of ‘East’ and ‘West’ in Polo’s writings. These writers argue that Marco Polo’s experiences along the Silk Road should instead be considered a fertile interaction of cultural exchange.The volume begins with detailed studies of Marco Polo’s narrative in its many medieval forms (including French, Italian, and Latin versions). They place the text in its material and generic contexts, and situate Marco Polo’s account within the conventions of travel literature and manuscript illumination. Other essays consider the appropriation of Marco Polo’s narrative in adaptations, translation, and cinematic art. The concluding section presents historiographic and poetic accounts of the place of Marco Polo in the context of a global world literature.By considering the production and reception of The Travels, this collection lays the groundwork for new histories of world literature written from the perspective of cultural, economic, and linguistic exchange, rather than conquest and conflict.

Publisher: Toronto ; Buffalo : University of Toronto Press, ©2008
ISBN: 9781442688582
1442688580
Characteristics: 1 online resource (x, 338 pages) : illustrations, maps

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